Upper Hunter artist Rowen Matthews making his mark in en plein air arena

PROVING en plein air painting is anything but plain is Rowen Matthews, an Upper Hunter artist who was announced as a finalist in the 2017 NSW Parliament Plein Air Painting Prize.

The $20,000 prize is celebrating its 10th year in 2017 and is awarded to the best en plein air painting of a New South Wales subject.

To paint en plein air is to paint entirely out of doors, come rain, hail, shine and everything in between.

It was first popularised by the likes of Monet and Renoir before coming to Australia through Tom Roberts and Arthur Streeton.

Contemporary plein air artists have upheld this tradition, albeit with a few tweaks.

Matthews was shortlisted for his work Winter Dusk, Moraro, which will be on display alongside the 44 other finalists in this year’s prize.

The free public exhibition at Sydney’s Parliament House runs until Friday, October 27.

“The NSW Parliament Plein Air Painting Prize is one of the most anticipated events on the Parliament’s calendar,” said the Hon John Ajaka MLC, President of the Legislative Council.

“Members of Parliament and the public love to see these wonderful portraits of NSW, and we are delighted to be able to host this exciting exhibition in its 10th year.”